Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce player, is consolidating the service offerings of Ekart, its logistics & supply chain arm, to sharpen its focus to its core business model.
Beginning February 5, 2017, Flipkart is no longer operating its customer-to-customer courier service started in May 2016, that gave people the option of having documents and parcels packed by Ekart’s delivery boys and shipped to end-addresses.
The Ekart brand was acquired by Flipkart under a company called Instakart Services from WS retail, the primary seller on the platform. It was Flipkart Co-Founder, Binny Bansal’s flagship vertical, who personally brought in external business making it an independent third-party logistics vertical.
When contacted, a Flipkart spokesperson told Indiaretailing Bureau that the move would help the company bring greater precision to the commerce service, “a critical requirement as sales expand at Flipkart”.
Ekart formed the backbone of Flipkart’s business, providing the last-mile connectivity that has played a vital role in propelling the company to the top spot among e-tailers in the country.
As an in-house logistics arm, Ekart made Flipkart reach customers in the remotest corners of India — a vast network the company wanted to leverage as a customer courier service.
Ekart processes 30,000-40,000 orders a day for third-party businesses excluding the volumes generated by Flipkart and Flipkart-owned fashion portal Myntra.
It will continue its core e-commerce offerings, including third-party logistics services to e-commerce players such as Paytm and ShopClues. It will also continue to provide warehousing and fulfilment facilities to larger retail clients such as Madura Garments.